David and Bathsheba, by Luca Giordano (1634-1705).

Oil on canvas, 96.5cm by 121cm. Signed: Jordanus.

The Old Testament tells the story of King David’s seduction of the beautiful Bathsheba, after discovering her naked as she bathed.

He arranged the murder of her husband Uriah and subsequently married her, for which sins, David and his descendants were punished by God.

The painting was purchased by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700) whilst on the Grand Tour and is recorded in the 1688 Burghley Inventory: ‘My Ladyes Dressing Roome……1 piece of David & Bathsheba in a Large Guilt fframe.’

Luca Giordano was active in his native Naples, in Rome, Florence and Venice and also spent ten years as court painter to Charles II of Spain.

His work was much admired by the 5th Earl who bought directly from him and also commissioned many other paintings.


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